In 2004, Jessica Ramos of East Chicago, IN, was an 18-year-old with dreams of leaving her hometown to make it big in the fashion industry. However, at that time she did not realize that her true calling would bring her right back to the region where she started.


Ramos received a scholarship from the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC), a nonprofit organization, during her senior year at East Chicago Central High School. She then used that scholarship to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Apparel Merchandising from Indiana University – Bloomington.


“College was an eye opening and life changing experience,” said Ramos. “The world is so much bigger than EC [East Chicago] and I had to learn how to grow and adapt.”


However, it wasn’t until she finished her degree and came back to East Chicago that Ramos grew to realize that she was destined for something more meaningful. She reminisced on her time at EC Central, how she felt receiving her scholarship and being able to pursue her educational dreams.


“I’m a better person for all of the college experiences I was fortunate to have,” said Ramos. “I remember thinking I wanted to make more of an impact on people’s lives, not their pockets.”


It was this realization that prompted Ramos to go back to school to obtain her Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in school counseling. She wanted to make a difference for people just like her.


Ramos currently works as a College Counselor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, IN, just down the street from her hometown of East Chicago. Here, she is able to help students get into college so they can “find their passions and pursue their goals.”


“There are so many reasons to be proud and so many amazing students,” said Ramos. “My job has really come full circle because now I get to support students and help them apply for scholarships.”


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Jessica Ramos